11-year-old Persia has grown up alongside the animals on the Serengeti plains of Africa. Twins Riki and Gaku Muroi and their grandfather, Gouken, bring Persia to Japan with them, where she will live with a couple (who Persia calls Mama and Papa) that own a grocery store. During the flight to Japan, Persia finds herself in the "Lovely Dream" where she meets the Fairy Queen, who explains that the Lovely Dream is in danger and requests Persia's help. Giving Persia a magical headband (which can also summon a magical baton) that allows her to transform into a teenage girl, connecting her to the Lovely Dream and allowing her to use magic. She is sent with three kappa back into the regular world with the mission of collecting love energy to thaw the frozen Lovely Dream. If Persia fails her task of collecting love energy or if someone catches her using magic, Riki and Gaku will be transformed into women.
I recently finished watching this and I thought I could try writing a review.
Source Material: I occasonally buy cheap DVD editions of old TV series. For this one, I used the Italian DVD edition "Evelyn E La Magia Di Un Sogno D'Amore", which I watched in Italian. I don't really speak Italian, but I understand it good enough to follow the action (for which my Japanese level is not good enough).
I found the overarching story, as written in the synopsis, rather uninteresting. Most single episodes don't make much of a reference to it, with some exceptions. It happens when the heroine seriously screws up
or if other characters (the 3 green little minions or Kenji) have business with the Love Dream land.
The single episodes were of mixed quallity. I found some quite moving, like the ones with Kenji or the story of the old foto from Persia's grandfather. Others were rather forgettable (at least I forgot them).
Backgrounds: Didn't see anything bad or good at the backgrounds, so they are mediocre (5) I guess.
Character designs: Persia was cute, Tota (a chubby classmate) not so much. But anyway, most characters were given distinctive looks that respond to their personalities. Exception are the fraternal twins, which I kept confusing despite the different hair color (was it again the brown haired or the black haired one in whom Persia and Yoyoko were interested?). 7 for character designs I say, so 6 for the art section.
It didn't annoy me, so fair (6) is the score.
Characters (this will be the longest part):
Heroine: She is generally a good hearted girl, who wants to make people happy. I guess that's what most magical girls want to do. Sometimes, she makes mistakes, or tries to use her powers for selfish wishes. This either doesn't work, or it backfires badly (at one occasion when she consciously does something evil).
At the beginning, she seems to be unbeatable in brawling and running in her normal form. However, as I watched the series, it seemed to me that she tries to pick the fights she can win. If she can't win, her running skill can be useful - or not, for example, one time she tries to run from some gangsters and crashes into a wall. However, in most cases, or if she can't win or run, she solves the problems by devising a plan. The execution of this plan generally involves her adult form. In adult form, she can assume the ability of any professional, from model to computer programmer.
I liked the heroine, she generally wants the best, but also has some flaws, and she is not stupid.
Now to the heroines companions. There are 3 little green creatures, which Persia received when she got her powers. They are annoying, and cause more trouble than they are worth.
Simba, once a lion and the king of the savannah, got turned into a whiny house cat and lives now in Japan with the heroine. If anything, I just feel pity for him.
The heroine's closer social environment: I already mentioned the twins. They live in the house of Persia's grandfather. One is active in the student council, the other does sports. Both looked just like friendly and boring model students.
She has some classmates, who wouldn't call themselves Persia's "friends" I think, but with whom she hangs out a lot. Yoyoko considers herself as Persia's rival in love regarding one of the twins. The two girls often pick fights early in the series, but this changes at one point, after which Persia tries her best to come to good terms with Yoyoko. There is a reason for that I guess (but I shouldn't spoil here)... The chemistry between the 2 was interesting.
Norinobu is the self proclaimed investigative reporter in Persia's class. He soon suspects something regarding Persia and stalks her eventually. His attempts, failures and the heroine's management of the situations were fun to watch.
Not much is said about Persias parents. They appear in every episode, but they just seem to have the parent role. Rather boring types.
The heroine's grandfather has a backstory and own interests. His fate is somewhat connected to Persia's. He is one of the more interesting characters in this series.
Other characters: A lot of more or less interesting people come and go in the series.
I found Kenji remarkable, a musician whose appearance reminded me of John Lennon. He has his own, more personal relation to the Love Dream land.
Despite the generally good characters, I found it partially tedious. Quite often, familiar elements seem to be repeated. Some episodes were boring, some good, so a 6 is sort of a compromise as a score.
If you are in the magical girls genre and have some time to kill, go ahead.